Wendy Cervantes is a senior policy analyst at CLASP, where she works across the organization’s policy teams to develop and advocate for policies that support low-income immigrants and their families. As a member of the child care and early education team, she also focuses on improving access to these programs for children of immigrants and children of color. Ms. Cervantes is an expert on the cross-sector policy issues that impact children of immigrants, including family economics, child welfare, immigration, education, healthcare, and human rights.
Prior to joining CLASP, Ms. Cervantes was vice president of immigration and child rights at First Focus, where she led the organization’s federal policy work on immigration and established the Center for the Children of Immigrants. She also served as director of programs at La Plaza, a Latino community-based organization in central Indiana, where she oversaw the implementation and evaluation of education, health, and social service programs. Earlier in her career, Ms. Cervantes worked at the Annie E. Casey Foundation where she managed the national immigrant and refugee families and the District of Columbia portfolios. She also has experience as a community organizer and an adult ESL instructor.
Ms. Cervantes currently serves on the advisory board of the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare and the Board of Welcome.US. She previously served on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign for Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2011, she was selected as an ALL IN fellow with the National Hispana Leadership Institute. The proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, Ms. Cervantes holds an M.A. in Latin American studies and political science from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor's in communications from the University of Southern California.